Know what to expect.
Judges will be delineated based on expertise and experience into three categories for team submissions.
The following criteria will guide the judges' decisions:
- Quality of idea
- Scale of the potential opportunity
- Competitive differentiation
- Strength of management team
- Clarity and pervasiveness of submitted NEC documents: executive summary, pitch video, business plan and investor pitch.
The judges will function as potential supporters and investors deciding which startup they would likely fund. Judges will use a Likert scale to rank each submitted NEC document according to an outlined judging rubric with a ranking of one (poorest quality) to nine (highest quality).
Executive Summary Evaluation (45 possible points):
- Does the summary adequately describe the problem?
- Has the team clearly described the market potential?
- Has a feasible solution been presented?
- Was the proposition to investors clearly presented?
- Is the summary well written and succinct?
Pitch Video Evaluation (18 possible points):
- Did the video clearly sell the idea?
- Did the pitch entice you to learn more about the company?
finalist business plan submission judging
Business Plan Evaluation (126 total points):
Product and Services:
- Is the value proposition evaluated comprehensively?
- Does the product/service differentiate itself from the existing competition?
- Does the submission address relevant risks?
Preparation for Launch:
- Does the submission clearly describe the market and economic opportunities/risks?
- Does the submission identify progress made toward any milestones? (licenses, patents, etc.)
- Does the pricing model reflect an understanding of the economics and potential growth opportunities of the business?
- Does the submission clearly outline future, achievable milestones?
- Does the submission convincingly identify how the target market will be reached?
- Does the submission outline a clear sales strategy? Is it outlined how the submission will sell to their first customers?
- Does the submission effectively outline a plan to scale the business?
- Does the team have all of the necessary skills to execute the proposed plan? If not, is there a reasonable plan in place for acquiring missing skill sets?
- Does the submission present a clear investment proposal that describes the funding/resources required to execute the plan?
- Does the submission address any needs for additional key people and strategies to attract these individuals?
- Are contingencies and exit strategies addressed?
finalist investor pitch presentation judging
Investor Pitch Evaluation (81 possible points):
- Did the team provide proof of concept?
- Was the value created by the new product/services adequately proven?
- Was the attractiveness of the market opportunity clearly articulated?
- Does the proposed venture have a clear competitive advantage?
- Did the management team demonstrate a clear capability to operate the business as it is presented?
- Did the team clearly address the capital requirements and financial forecast?
- Does the business demonstrate a real investment opportunity?
- Were the presenter(s) and visual aids strong and convincing?
- Did the team supply convincing and thorough answers to judges’ inquiries?